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Old 08-09-2017, 03:04 AM
 
Location: In my head
295 posts, read 317,043 times
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Is there a single source/website/book that can show me the cost benefits, taxes, home ownership, medical insurance, etc. For comparing? Like a cheat sheet? Rather than google and hope the info is accurate. for US expatriates looking to retire abroad. (France, Mexico, Spain)
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,116 posts, read 3,476,672 times
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These rules change often. Your best bet is to go to expat forums for the areas you are interested in.

I lived in Mexico 2008 until 2012 and have moved back again this year. The visa requirements have changed substantially over these years.

Try Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Expats Living Abroad | ExpatForum.com as a start. But also google for forums that are specific to other areas.

Buena suerte!
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:32 PM
 
2,558 posts, read 1,651,088 times
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This website is comprehensive but may not be entirely correct

https://www.globalpropertyguide.com
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:42 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,367,691 times
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Completely agree with dothetwist. Also try Expat forum it's a pretty well run website and more comprehensive.

No, there is no such thing as you are looking for.

To get the visa requirements for any given country, go to their embassy website and root around. Most embassy websites are not great, often poorly translated, and often out of date with current information.

Dothetwist is so right, visa requirements change constantly. We were looking at moving to Ecuador and went there twice in the last 4 years. During those 4 years the requirements for obtaining a residency visa changed every_year, including again at the beginning of 2017. To the best of my knowledge the 2017 visa changes have yet to be included on their embassy web page.

IMO I think it's a huge mistake to buy a home in a foreign country without living there (renting) for at least a year at first. I've seen many expats get stuck with a property in a country where they didn't fully grasp the legal intricacies of owning and selling a house, and taxes. Also beware of buying a gringo property with all the bells and whistles you're used to having, only to find there is no local market for such a property and you have to find another expat to sell it to or take a huge loss. This happens A LOT.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:42 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,926 posts, read 1,598,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post

IMO I think it's a huge mistake to buy a home in a foreign country without living there (renting) for at least a year at first.
This..... take it very slow before committing financially to something out of your experience.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,109 posts, read 19,072,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
.

IMO I think it's a huge mistake to buy a home in a foreign country without living there (renting) for at least a year at first. I've seen many expats get stuck with a property in a country where they didn't fully grasp the legal intricacies of owning and selling a house, and taxes. Also beware of buying a gringo property with all the bells and whistles you're used to having, only to find there is no local market for such a property and you have to find another expat to sell it to or take a huge loss. This happens A LOT.
Completely agree. DH and I seriously considered relocating to the largest expat area in Mexico- Ajijic/chapala. We vacationed there twice, then, after I retired, spent 6 months renting in 2010 and 2011. The major reason we didn't permanently move was because I refused to buy a home and DH refused to rent. One of the few times in our marriage we couldn't come to a suitable compromise.

Reasons for my refusal to buy? We met too many expats who wanted to go back to the USA, but we're unable to sell their home without taking a huge loss. The crime was increasing. Because it was such a huge expat area, the costs of things like dining out were reaching US prices as were rental properties. Effectivel6, no mortgages. And I just couldn't get comfortable with my money (several hundred thousand dollars for a home) being stuck with a foreign government.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,116 posts, read 3,476,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Completely agree. DH and I seriously considered relocating to the largest expat area in Mexico- Ajijic/chapala. We vacationed there twice, then, after I retired, spent 6 months renting in 2010 and 2011. The major reason we didn't permanently move was because I refused to buy a home and DH refused to rent. One of the few times in our marriage we couldn't come to a suitable compromise.

Reasons for my refusal to buy? We met too many expats who wanted to go back to the USA, but we're unable to sell their home without taking a huge loss. The crime was increasing. Because it was such a huge expat area, the costs of things like dining out were reaching US prices as were rental properties. Effectivel6, no mortgages. And I just couldn't get comfortable with my money (several hundred thousand dollars for a home) being stuck with a foreign government.
We bought our first home in MX in 2008. Had to move back to US in 2012 for family reasons. Debated whether to sell our MXN home or rent it out. Renting it out was attractive since houses in MX have very low overhead. Taxes are literally a few hundred USD equivalent a year. But renting never appealed to us....neither side of the equation, either as renters or landlords, so we sold. We lost about $25K since we bought at top of market in 2008 (MX market lags behind the US real estate market a tad) and sold towards the end of the downturn in 2012. Pretty much the same thing would have happened to us in the US with a purchase/sale in those years. Although I can mentally justify the loss as a gain, since we would have, over 5 years, spent $50K to $60K to rent a similar home in our location ($850 to 1K a month).

As far as your saying expats had to take losses in 2010 and 2011 when you visited, well, that's the way it was in the US in those years, too! Same story if someone had retired from NY, bought at or near top of bubble in FL, then decided after a few years they wanted to move back to NY and had to sell after the bubble burst.

We returned to MX earlier this year and bought another home. It is larger and more expensive than our last home here. Right now houses are selling like proverbial pancakes here (realtors are calling it the Trump Effect). Another bubble....quien sabe? Same thing going on the US. Time will tell. But I don't feel our risk for owning a MXN home is any different than the risk for owning our home in the US.

We are not spendthrifts or financial idiots; we managed to retire at ages 50 and 51 with both income and assets well above the national average. We can pretty much afford to live anywhere, but choose to live at Lake Chapala. We find it exceedingly safe; never had a theft of any nature in all our years here. We live in the village with both MXN and expat neighbors.

Last edited by dothetwist; 08-22-2017 at 03:38 PM..
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